Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pawlenty's current climate change stance differs from past

In this photo from July 30, 2009, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty speaks at a luncheon during the Republican National Committee summer meeting in San Diego, Calif., where he used climate change as a punch line. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

St. Paul, Minn. — President Obama is promising new steps toward capping greenhouse gas emissions, but Gov. Tim Pawlenty is backing away from his earlier support for new regulations to slow global warming.

Since 2006, Tim Pawlenty has been touting clean energy initiatives as a way to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2007, he used his time as chair of the National Governor's Association to suggest ways to improve, develop and advance clean energy. The effort was meant to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil, but Pawlenty also didn't deny that it was an attempt to clean up the environment.

"The country needs to hear this wakeup call and move boldly and aggressively in this direction," Pawlenty said in 2006. "What people think now will be very different than what people think 10 or 15 or 20 years from now and whatever political stripe you are, you'll look back on these types of initiatives and say 'thank goodness we did that.'"

Pawlenty was a vocal advocate of creating a cap and trade system to curb greenhouse gas emissions. In 2008, he and Janet Napolitano, then Arizona's Democratic Governor, recorded a radio ad urging Congress to address climate change.

Pawlenty has changed. Now, he uses climate change as a punch line.

(I am so disappointed by this turn of events. I like Tim - I consider him a friend; I've always appreciated his moderate, forward-looking policies. He's been a bridge-builder and a visionary when it comes to alternative energy here in Minnesota. That's why I'm so saddened by his apparent shift in policy - to appease those on the far right - the professional deniers, as he looks to make his mark on the national stage. Maybe this is politics as usual, but if it is I want no part of it. Call me crazy, but I expected more.....)

The rest of the MPR article is here.

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